Friday, March 03, 2006

How Much Did the ACLU Get From YOU Today?

Under federal law, an attorney or an organization of attorneys that wins a civil rights case in a federal court can charge legal fees and collect damages from the losing defendant in the case. This includes cases of so-called “religious discrimination” under the “establishment” clause of our Constitution. This means that when the ACLU brings an action against a city or town that has allowed a crèche or an opening prayer or anything else that some disaffected atheist feels offends him, and wins the case, not only does the country lose another symbol of our heritage, but the city or town can be bankrupted by the courtroom loss. This may help explain why many municipalities run for cover and refuse to defend the religious symbols in question.

There is an action going on right now in the Congress to stop this situation – at least so far as “establishment” cases governing mentions of religion are concerned. I urge every citizen to support this change. The bill in question is HR 2679, which was introduced by Representative Hostettler and others, as shown below:

Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005 (Introduced in House)
HR 2679 IH

1st Session
H. R. 2679

To amend the Revised Statutes of the United States to eliminate the chilling effect on the constitutionally protected expression of religion by State and local officials that results from the threat that potential litigants may seek damages and attorney’s fees.

May 26, 2005

Mr. HOSTETTLER (for himself, Mr. WAMP, Mr. NORWOOD, Mr. JENKINS, Mr. PAUL, Mr. DOOLITTLE, Mr. SODREL, Mr. WELDON of Florida, Mr. ALEXANDER, Mr. BACHUS, Mr. PITTS, Mr. INGLIS of South Carolina, Mr. OTTER, Mr. DUNCAN, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, Mr. KINGSTON, Mr. SMITH of Texas, Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland, Mr. POE, and Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To amend the Revised Statutes of the United States to eliminate the chilling effect on the constitutionally protected expression of religion by State and local officials that results from the threat that potential litigants may seek damages and attorney’s fees.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005′.


(a) Civil Action for Deprivation of Rights- Section 1979 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (42 U.S.C. 1983) is amended–
(1) by inserting `(a)’ before the first sentence; and
(2) by adding at the end the following:
`(b) The remedies with respect to a claim under this section where the deprivation consists of a violation of a prohibition in the Constitution against the establishment of religion shall be limited to injunctive relief.’.
(b) Attorneys Fees- Section 722(b) of the Revised Statutes of the United States (42 U.S.C. 1988(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following: `However, no fees shall be awarded under this subsection with respect to a claim described in subsection (b) of section nineteen hundred and seventy nine.

It’s no secret to any of my viewers that I believe strongly that the ACLU has morphed into an anti-American organization which must be opposed in every way possible. The passage of this bill will strengthen the resolve of our local officials to defend our heritage and drastically reduce the flow of funds from our tax dollars into the coffers of the ACLU. Without this change, YOU are financing the anti-religious, anti-American efforts of the ACLU through the taxes you pay to your local community.

The intent of the framers of our Constitution in enacting the “establishment” clause was to prevent the government from proclaiming and enforcing a particular religion, as has happened in many countries with deleterious results. The twisting of this protection into the removal of all mention of religion is one of the many crazy situations that judicial activism of a liberal, atheist agenda has inflicted on the great majority of Americans.

You can quickly send an e-mail to your House and Senate members by entering your Zip code in the banner at the right side of my site under the Archive Months and asking for them to support HR 2679.

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At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Joe Alves said...

I definately will email my representatives to support this bill, and I'll email everyone I know and ask them to get involved so that we can put a stop to this foolishness that the ACLU has been getting away with while being aided with far Left radical judges.

At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is refreshing common sense news. I'm an attorney, formerly very left-leaning in my worldview. My education in constitutional law contained the premise that attorney fees in civil rights cases was as sacred as the underlying civil right itself. I hope that HR2679 is adopted, and that it is just the beginning in re-thinking the rationale for awarding plaintiff's attorneys fees, as any litigation labelled civil rights becomes a cash- cow merely by filing it in many cases. I would like to see these law suits become truely pro bono, where plaintiff's lawyers who prevail would be entitled to out-of-pocket costs. Attorney's fees would be set according to the public's interest which presumably underlies the rationale for fees in the first place, and not the going market rate. In cases where the plaintiff loses, the court should be required to make a finding as to the good-faith involved in bringing the suit in the first place, claims labelled civil rights should not be immune from accountability for being frivolous. The attorneys fee provisions in civil rights causes has been part & parcel to the trend towards courts becoming super-legislative bodies dispensing public policy in the first instance. The mere fact that attorneys fees are provided for in the first place causes some courts to interpret this as legislative intent warranting an activist judicial philosophy.

At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My comment above timed @5:39pm was not intended to be anonymous.
My name is VVarnado, Oak Park, IL


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